How Do Car Accident Settlements Work in Florida?
In Florida, car accident settlements compensate victims for injuries they sustain due to someone’s reckless behavior. However, the process for obtaining a settlement can be complex and drawn out if you try to pursue financial compensation on your own.
The steps to obtain a settlement for an injury accident include:
- Filing a police report;
- Seeking medical treatment;
- Retaining a car accident lawyer;
- Reporting the accident to the insurance company;
- Providing documentation to substantiate the claim;
- Negotiating with the insurance company;
- Accepting a settlement offer; and
- Receiving a settlement check.
The car accident settlement lawyers at the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine can help expedite this process and ensure that you receive the fair financial compensation you deserve. Call 800-747-3733 for a free consultation.
What Is a Police Report?
Immediately after a crash, you should contact the police. Once an officer arrives on the scene, they will record details about your crash and file it in an official police report. Be sure to request the report number from the responding officer so we can examine the details of the report later.
If you did not call the police to respond to your accident, you may need to file a self-report within 10 days of the crash. State law requires you to report any accident involving:
- A commercial truck;
- Damage significant enough to require a tow truck;
- A hit-and-run; or
- Driving under the influence.
It is also a good idea to take photos with your smartphone—if you can safely do so—and talk to any witnesses on-scene. Collect contact information for witnesses as well as the other drivers involved.
Do I Always Need to Seek Medical Treatment?
You should request medical attention at the accident scene, even if you believe you are not hurt. You may be in shock and unable to notice an injury. Also, many orthopedic and internal injuries do not immediately manifest symptoms.
If the emergency medical technicians do not recommend transporting you to a hospital, seek follow-up treatment immediately for a full evaluation. This is critical for preserving your legal rights.
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When Should I Call a Lawyer?
As soon as possible after a crash, contact a Florida car accident lawyer. At the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine, you can meet with a lawyer for free to learn about your options and discuss the vehicle accident settlement process.
Our lawyers can protect your legal rights and give you a better chance of obtaining a fair settlement for your injuries. Because we understand the complexities of the settlement process, we can handle the legal aspects of your case while you focus on getting treatment and recovering from your injuries.
Do I Need to Report the Crash to My Insurance Company?
You have a legal obligation to report any accident to your insurance company as soon as you can. In Florida, you must first seek compensation from your own personal injury protection (PIP) policy after a crash. However, if someone else’s negligence caused your accident and you suffered serious injuries, we can help you file a claim with their insurance company for additional compensation.
Talking to either insurance company—especially if you give any type of formal statement—can jeopardize your legal rights and ability to collect a settlement. We can guide you through this process and help you report your crash without putting your legal rights at risk.
How Do I Submit a Claim?
Before we can submit your claim to the insurance company, we need important evidence and supporting documents to substantiate your request for settlement.
This includes medical bills, receipts for expenses such as towing, and income statements to prove your lost wages. We may use expert testimony to document the future treatment you may need and to project your reduced earning potential.
Once we obtain the documentation for your claim, we can file it with the insurance company for processing.
What If the Insurance Company Does Not Offer a Fair Settlement?
Because insurance companies focus on reducing their losses as much as possible, we will have to negotiate your settlement with the insurer’s legal team.
They will typically begin with a lowball offer, in hopes that you will accept a small settlement now and relinquish your legal right to seek any further compensation. We can help you evaluate any settlement offer so you can make the right decision for your future.
If the insurance company refuses to make a fair offer, we may recommend filing a lawsuit. Typically, however, the insurance company will make a fair settlement offer to avoid going to court.
What Happens Next?
Eventually, most car accident claims result in a fair settlement offer for the injured party. Once you receive an offer that will cover your immediate and long-term costs, you can help you file paperwork to accept it.
Once you accept an offer, the insurance company will send us a check. We will deduct our fees and expenses then send you your settlement.
The Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine can help you obtain fair financial compensation for your car accident injuries. Call our office today at 800-747-3733 to get started.